I have the right to destroy myself – Young-ha Kim

Sjanger: Roman
Først utgitt: 1996
Denne utgave utgitt: 2007
Forlag: Harcourt
Format: Heftet
Sider: 119
ISBN: 9780156030809

****
Om boka: A spectral, nameless narrator haunts the lost and wounded of big-city Seoul, suggesting solace in suicide. Wandering through the bright lights of their existence, C and K are brothers who fall in love with the same woman – Se-yeon. As their lives intersect, they tear at each other in a struggle to find connection in their fast-paced atomized world. Dreamlike and cinematic, I have the right to destroy myself brilliantly affirms Young-ha Kim as Korea’s leading young literary master.
****

Jeg skal være ærlig. Jeg falt fullstendig pladask for omslaget og tittelen på denne boka. Klikk på omslaget for å se det i større versjon – er det ikke fantastisk vakkert? Og tittelen? Poetisk og mystisk. Ja, for ikke å snakke om vaskeseddelen, med den mystiske fortelleren som oppfordrer andre til selvmord. Følgende utdrag fra romanen finnes trykket på baksiden:

I don’t encourage murder. I have no interest in one person killing another. I only want to draw out morbid desires, imprisoned deep in the unconscious. This lust, once freed, starts growing. Their imagination run free, and they soon discover their potential … They are waiting for someone like me.

Jeg var altså forelsket før jeg i det hele tatt hadde åpnet boka. Det kan jo være farlig. Heldigvis klarte teksten å stå til forventningene. Men det er vanskelig å snakke om hvordan og hvorfor. Det er mye ved historien som beholder sin mystikk. Som for eksempel kvinnen fortelleren møter i Wien, hun fra Hong Kong. Når hun forteller historien om seg selv er det umulig å vite om det hele er sant, eller hvor eventuelt fakta går over til fiksjon. Og når det gjelder minner generelt, kan vi egentlig skille mellom sannhet og den oppdiktede sannheten? Grålinjen mellom det surrealistiske og det realistiske fascinerer meg. Jeg vil ikke påstå at den er like tydelig hos denne forfatteren som hos for eksempel japanske Haruki Murakami, men det er definitivt et lite frø av mystikk som spirer og gror midt i fortellingen.

He starts to tire, and tells himself that he doesn’t care where she is. She’s like mildew that has invaded his life. She’s the kind of mold that wouldn’t have appeared if he lived austerely, the kind that breeds only in the dark, neglected corners of a building. She has infected his life, not caring what he wants. He hates himself for trudging through the snow looking for a woman who was having sex with his brother on the day their mother was buried. Seriously, I don’t want to know where she is or whether she’s dead or alive. Still, even as he thinks this, he advances, putting one foot in front of the other.

Over disse 119 sidene er det altså flere historier som flettes sammen. Det er ikke så mye man får fortalt over så liten plass, men språklig synes jeg faktisk det er meget effektivt. Forfatteren forholder seg relativt nøytral og spartansk til sin egen fortelling, og denne, tja, roen, er for meg meget effektivt. Det er en historie om liv og død, depresjon, triste skjebner, selvmord. Og det fortelles med den største ro. Jeg-personen ser litt på seg selv om en kunstner og en gud. Som han uttrykker på side 10: «Through this act of creation, I strive to become more like god. There are only two ways to be a god: through creation or murder.» Han er altså ikke interessert i å myrde noen, og tar avstand fra dette. Det eneste han ønsker er å lokke frem et ønske om selvmord hos de desperate og deprimerte. Den røde tråden i romanen er denne jeg-personen.

But where is she now? Is she with C? C always takes everything. K is used to this. Some people take things as if that’s the most natural act in the world. When he thinks about his older brother, all of his memories are about having things stolen from him. When he was very young, before he started going to school, they had a puppy. The puppy was cute, with fluffy brown fur. It was always in C’s arms. K tried hard to win its affections, but the puppy would always run back to his brother. Even to this day, K doesn’t know why; he doesn’t want to know.

Hvis jeg skal klage på noe, skulle jeg ønske den var lenger. Jeg skulle ønske jeg-personen fortalte meg mer om sine klienter. Jeg vil høre om flere skjebner, flere personer. Jeg vil at Young-ha Kim skal fortelle meg flere historier. Men samtidig er det antageligvis nettopp det faktum at romanen er så kort som gjør at den fremstår som mystisk og sterk.

Why does nothing change, even when you set out for a faraway place?

4 Responses to “I have the right to destroy myself – Young-ha Kim”


  1. 1 venstregærning mars 17, 2011, kl. 16:20

    Jeg har aldri hørt om verken forfatteren eller boka, men dette høres jo rimelig flott ut. Omslaget var veldig fint også.🙂 Tror nok leselista mi må legge på seg enda mer.

    • 2 Julie mars 17, 2011, kl. 17:36

      Jeg snublet over den etter at jeg for et par uker siden bestemte meg for å kikke nærmere på asiatisk litteratur. Det er jeg glad for at jeg gjorde, og jeg gleder meg til å lese de andre bøkene jeg har funnet, fra både Kina, Japan og Korea.🙂

  2. 3 Kathleen juni 28, 2014, kl. 13:24

    Synes som sagt at tittelen er utrolig tiltrekkende, men aldri en grunn nok i seg selv til å lese en bok. Omtalen din derimot. Jeg vil lese denne!


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